Blue Raiders drop 8-2 decision to Hilltoppers
Ellison goes 3-for-3May 17, 2013 · @MTAthletics
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee baseball dropped an 8-2 decision to WKU on Friday night at Reese Smith Jr. Field.
Rightfielder Jake Ellison was 3-for-3 and drove in the only two runs for the Blue Raiders (28-27, 11-18 Sun Belt).
The Hilltoppers (27-27, 15-14 SBC) put up a quick two-spot in the opening frame, but MT battled back to tie it in the bottom of the second. Second baseman Johnny Thomas reached on a fielder's choice and catcher Michael Adkins singled in front of the two-run double from Ellison.
WKU went on to score six unanswered runs. The Hilltoppers used four hits in the fourth, including a pair of doubles, to plate three. Third baseman Blake Crabtree then broke the game open in the seventh with a two-out, two-run double for the 7-2 lead.
Leftfielder Regan Flaherty tacked on the final run for WKU with a solo home run in the top of the ninth.
MT starter Johnathan Frebis (5-6) took the loss, going 3.2 innings and allowing five runs on 10 hits with a walk and four strikeouts. WKU starter Andrew Edwards (6-3) picked up the win after seven innings of work, allowing two runs on five hits with no walks and seven strikeouts.
The two teams meet for the final game of the regular season on Saturday at 1 p.m. The Blue Raiders will honor 14 seniors prior to first pitch.
With UALR's victory over Arkansas State tonight, the Blue Raiders are in a must-win situation in order to make the conference tournament. A win on Saturday, coupled with an Arkansas State win, would put MT into the league tournament.
HEAD COACH JIM MCGUIRE
On the starting pitching tonight...
"We just can't get them past the fourth. Frebis wasn't very sharp and wasn't able to get very deep into the game, and that really hurt us. They ended up with 13 hits in the game, and I know 10 of them were off of Frebis. There's a couple of plays here and there in the game that can change things and they capitalized on them and weren't able to get anything going with Edwards. Just a frustrating night all the way around."
On Jake Ellison's 3-for-3 night at the plate...
"I thought Jake did a tremendous job. He fought off some pitches and drove the ball the other way. That's what he has to do, and he is getting better. I know he's had a tough year with such high expectations early on, but he has shown the last couple weeks he has a chance to be a very good player for us. I was happy with what he did tonight."
On opposing pitcher Andrew Edwards against the Blue Raiders tonight...
"He was very good. He was better tonight than he was up there when we faced him. He is a pro prospect with a good arm and came right at us. When you have a lead, it can be easier to pitch, and I think when they scored the three runs and got up 5-2 he settled in. That's something we have been lacking where we have leads in games and don't seem to settle in very well."
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